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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Home country: USA
Current location: Greenfield, MA
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 03:28 PM
Number of posts: 25,472

Journal Archives

Trump learns that dealmaking is not the same as leadership

By Karen Tumulty March 24 at 7:06 PM

President Trump has gotten a hard lesson from his first legislative debacle: Leadership takes more than being able to close a deal.

“I hope that Trump is going to learn from this that he has no choice except to be the chief legislator,” said former House speaker Newt Gingrich. “Trump has to start with the American people and come back to Congress. He can’t start with arcane congressional procedures and go to the American people. That is exactly backward.”

Nothing has more united Republicans over the past seven years than their vow to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

But Trump provided little by way of specifics on how he intended to do that, beyond vague and sometimes contradictory statements.

As a candidate and as president, Trump stuck to glossy promises of a transformed medical system that would be “a lot less expensive,” provide “great health care” and “take care of everybody.”


'The closer'? The inside story of how Trump tried - and failed - to make a deal on health care

By Robert Costa, Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker March 24 at 9:19 PM

Shortly after House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) unveiled the Republican health-care plan on March 6, President Trump sat in the Oval Office and queried his advisers: “Is this really a good bill?”

And over the next 18 days, until the bill collapsed in the House on Friday afternoon in a humiliating defeat — the sharpest rebuke yet of Trump’s young presidency and his negotiating skills — the question continued to nag at the president.

Even as he thrust himself and the trappings of his office into selling the health-care bill, Trump peppered his aides again and again with the same concern, usually after watching cable news reports chronicling the setbacks, according to two of his advisers: “Is this really a good bill?”

In the end, the answer was no — in part because the president himself seemed to doubt it.

“We were a little bit shy — very little, but it was still a little bit shy, so we pulled it,” Trump said Friday afternoon in an interview with The Washington Post.


Trump disappointed House conservatives blocked healthcare bill

Source: Reuters

Fri Mar 24, 2017 | 6:10pm EDT

By Steve Holland and Roberta Rampton | WASHINGTON

President Donald Trump said on Friday that he was disappointed that a conservative faction in the House of Representatives blocked his healthcare legislation and said "we learned a lot about loyalty" from the effort.

Speaking in the Oval Office after a stunning political setback, Trump said the healthcare effort was a victim of stalwart Democratic opposition and any future healthcare legislation would likely need Democratic support.

He also said he was surprised and disappointed by the opposition from the House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservatives who prevented Republicans from using their majority in the House to pass the legislation.

Asked if he felt betrayed by the Freedom Caucus, Trump said he did not. "No, I'm not betrayed. They're friends of mine. I'm disappointed because we could have had it. So I'm disappointed. I'm a little surprised, to be honest with you," Trump said.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-healthcare-trump-idUSKBN16V2RB

Paul Ryan: "Obamacare is the law of the land"

Paul Ryan: “Obamacare is the law of the land”

An admission that Ryan probably wasn’t expecting just three months into a full Republican government.

Updated by German Lopez@germanrlopezgerman.lopez@vox.com Mar 24, 2017, 5:12pm EDT

It was an admission of defeat that House Speaker Paul Ryan probably didn’t expect to make just three months into a fully Republican government: “Obamacare is the law of the land. … We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.”

Since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, Republicans have been working to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature piece of legislation. The House in particular tried to repeal or otherwise cripple the law — to no avail — literally dozens of times.

Then Republicans captured the White House, on top of already controlling Congress. It was widely believed that this was finally their chance to repeal the health care law they despised so much.

Yet when the time came to pull the trigger, they couldn’t do it. Not even because of Democratic opposition, but because different factions in the Republican Party just weren’t satisfied with the bill that House leadership put forward. More conservative members felt the repeal-and-replace bill didn’t do enough to dismantle Obamacare, while the more moderate members worried that the bill would rip away health insurance from too many Americans. This fracture within the party proved too much, and the American Health Care Act (AHCA) never obtained enough votes to even warrant a vote.


Donald Trump played a game of chicken with House Republicans. Then he blinked. Bigly.

By Chris Cillizza March 24 at 4:40 PM

Donald Trump was elected in large part on one, loud promise: I know how to make deals these normal politicians don't.

Part of that mystique — as outlined in his best-selling book “The Art of the Deal” — is the willingness to call his rival's bluff, to put his cards on the table and ask everyone else to do the same.

That's what Trump did Thursday night after a postponement of the planned vote to begin the process of reforming the Affordable Care Act. House Republicans needed to put up or shut up, Trump insisted. Despite being told the votes simply weren't there, Trump pushed forward — arguing that it was now or never.

It was vintage Trump, taking a gamble no other typical politician would take: Force a vote on a massive part of your legislative agenda with an uncertain outcome.

Then Trump blinked.


'Worst 100 days we've ever seen': Gergen slams Trump's 'delusional' response to Trumpcare fail


With health care bill scuttled, Trump and Ryan gear up for revenge

FRIDAY, MAR 24, 2017 01:50 PM EDT

With health care bill scuttled, Trump and Ryan gear up for revenge

As health care bill goes down, GOP leaders prep payback plans against far-right Freedom Caucus (updated)


Whether consciously intended or not, every group effort has its own ethos. For decades, the guiding principle of Donald Trump’s leadership style has been loyalty — to his enterprise and above all to him personally.

The far-right Republicans who comprise the Freedom Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives are about to learn this lesson the hard way, once the dust settles on the American Health Care Act, the joint effort of Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan to repeal and replace Obamacare.

The House of Representatives was scheduled to hold a vote on the bill early this afternoon but canceled those plans after it became evident that the GOP did not have enough votes for it to pass. This was the second time the leadership team had to scuttle a scheduled vote on the AHCA. The House was originally supposed to vote on it Thursday, the seventh anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act, the signature legislative achievement of former president Barack Obama.

GOP leaders saw support for the bill continue to collapse on Friday and accused Freedom Caucus members of trying to shift the goalposts of what they claim to want in the final version of the health care law.

Some Freedom Caucus members pushed the White House to insert provisions that would remove many of the most popular elements of the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress in 2010, including regulations that prohibit insurance companies from refusing customers based on pre-existing medical conditions and a rule that allows adults under age 26 to remain on their parents’ insurance policies.


Hillary Clinton Cheers Move To Pull ACA Repeal Bill As 'Victory For All Americans'

Source: Talking Points Memo

By KRISTIN SALAKY Published MARCH 24, 2017, 5:34 PM EDT

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took to Twitter Friday to celebrate the House Republicans' pulling of a vote on their bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, calling it a "victory for all Americans."

Clinton -- who has kept a fairly low profile since her defeat last November, save for a few public speaking engagements and some walks in the woods -- released a statement on President Donald Trump's favorite social media platform, hailing the move to pull the bill as a victory for affordable health care and urging Democrats to fight on.


Following her statement, she shared the stories of those who have been helped by the Affordable Care Act.


Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/hillary-clinton-cheers-aca-repeal-bill-pull

Trump: TrumpCare Failed Because Of Democrats!

Source: Talking Points Memo

By ALLEGRA KIRKLAND Published MARCH 24, 2017, 4:50 PM EDT

President Donald Trump said Friday that the failure of the House GOP’s long-awaited Obamacare repeal bill, which he himself backed “100 percent,” was the fault of Democrats.

“We were very close; it was a very, very tight margin,” he said. “We had no Democrat support. We had no votes from the Democrats. They weren't going to give us a single vote, so it's a very difficult thing to do.”

Trump’s comments glossed over the fact that Republicans currently control both houses of Congress and the White House, leaving them plenty of leeway to craft and push through a health care bill that they approved of through reconciliation. The President appeared defiant in a short remarks to the press pool in the Oval Office, where he was flanked by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Vice President Mike Pence.

Thanking both men and as well as GOP leadership for their efforts to write the legislation and to gin up votes for it, Trump predicted that Obamacare will “explode" “soon” and that Democrats will be held accountable for that failure.

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-blames-failure-republican-healthcare-bill-democrats

'Hello, Bob': President Trump called my cellphone to say that the health-care bill was dead

By Robert Costa March 24 at 4:57 PM

President Trump called me on my cellphone on Friday afternoon at 3:31 p.m. At first I thought it was a reader with a complaint since it was a blocked number.

Instead, it was the president calling from the Oval Office. His voice was even, his tone muted. He did not bury the lede.

“Hello, Bob,” Trump began. “So, we just pulled it.”

Trump was speaking, of course, of the Republican plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, which had been languishing for days amid unrest throughout the party as the president and his allies have courted members and pushed for a vote.

Before I could ask a question, Trump plunged into his explanation of the politics of his decision to call off a vote on the bill he had been touting.

The Democrats, he said, were to blame.

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